Monday, July 20, 2009

Hollyhocks and Doll Quilts

Every summer I'm pleasantly surprised to see the hollyhocks bloom in my front garden again. I have a fear that one year they'll just say: "Enough beauty already, we're done." They look even better with a coordinating doll quilt, don't you think?.

Here's the word--doll quilts are not just for dolls anymore! They have a particular appeal to those of us who have fond memories of playing with dolls as young girls (or maybe boys, too!). Many of the patterns for doll quilts in my first book, American Doll Quilts, were inspired by antique doll quilts, although they aren't exactly replicas of real doll quilts. Doll quilts from long ago were played with until they fell apart and that's why they're so rare today--not many survived the wear and tear.

Sue from Indiana, who's in my SmallQuiltTalk group, brought some of her antique doll quilts to show us in the workshops I taught in Indiana last week. Don't you just love them to pieces?

I met another quilter from Marion, Indiana, who wanted to show me HER doll quilts:

This is the back of the hexagons doll quilt:

Here's another one:

It's fun to imagine what kinds of quilts children may have made and played with long ago and making little scrappy ones like these certainly brings the past alive, doesn't it?

This is one of the first doll quilts I made from simple nine-patch blocks. I was pretty much a beginner when I made it but I think my crooked seams really add to the overall antique doll quilt look, don't you think? Some of you reading this are probably fantastic quilters and you'd have to work really hard to get that naive, childlike look. It comes naturally to me, LOL.


libbyquilter said...

what a lovely showing of doll quilts in this post~quite a treat to see some of those really old ones and you're right the doll quilt and the hollyhocks are a perfect pairing . . .both a bit old fashioned and oh so charming~!~


Mamma Mia said...

I think its a good idea about dollquilts. Where I live it wasn't modern to have homemade things to the dolls. I havn't seen any before I started with quilting a yaer ago, but I have made one! I have it in my work, where I meet a lot of babies and there parents. We have a doll-bed with dolls, so when they grow older they play with the dolls!
Ann-Christin in Sweden

Kathleen Tracy said...

Well, Ann-Christin, now you have to make lots of quilts for all the dolls!


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